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here. they asked us what is going on. nobody really got the news. when they told them pope benedict xvi was redesignisignry didn't know. actually, he can, but obviously, no pope has done that for 700 years. so no wonder people are aware of that. for now on that may change the course of the catholic church in the future as well as pope benedict xvi is setting an example. if you don't have the strength to carry on let someone younger and more strength to carry on the mission. >> it certainly is a monument ool announcement. claudio, thank you very much. >>> this morning we spoke with greg burke the senior communication adviser to the holy see in rome. we began by asking him how much of a surprise this was? >> it is a surprise. i people think had fair warning. it was a few years ago in a book called "light of the world," a long interview with a german journalist. the journalist asked the pope if he would resign. and he said something interesting. in the midst of a candle and all that stuff. he said now is not the time. it's not the time to run when you're in great risk and emergency period.
, ktvu channel 2 morning news. >>> archdiocese is recognizing the pope benedict xvi -- that pope benedict xvi has a pace maker. the pope cited his age and fatigue and the reason he is stepping down. they hope the new leader will allow them to reexamine issues such as abortion and same sex marriages and the role of women in the church. >> i think the church needs to move forward and it becomes dangerous because people are not going to stand for it and they will loose a lot of the people they had. >> sources say even the pope's closest associates had no idea he was planning on stepping down. the catholic church hopes to have a new pope in place for easter and this could be a historic decision. the number of catholics is declining in europe and there is a boom in asia and latin america and a new pope could come from a country far away from europe. we have a new tab dedicated to the pope, and you will find more information on the pope's decision to step down and the process they will use in choosing a new pope on www.ktvu.com. >>> we are starting in the south bay, dave, pam 237 exactly, westb
on the first appearance from pope benedict xvi since his announcement that he's stepping down at the end of the month. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, matt. this is ash wednesday. it's usually a somber day in the catholic church. there's a celebratory air here in vatican city as the pope begins what some are calling his farewell tour. this morning, the public getting its first chance to express their appreciation for pope benedict since announcing his abdication. with the end of his papacy days away. a church famous for its rituals, vatican officials are working without a script as benedict moves into retirement. what are you going to call pope benedict once he steps down? >> i don't think he will be the pope emeritus. one of his other titles is the bishop of rome. he will probably be the americas bishop of rome. >> reporter: showed a flare for fashion, earning the nickname the prada pope. this monastery is being renovated for pope benedict. it will have a library for the scholarly man and his cats will accompany him. no word yet on whether there will be a piano as well.
the vatican's plans to elect a new pope in the wake of pope benedict's surprise decision to retire at the end of the month. rich richard engel is live in the vatican city. >> reporter: it's an act of humility and encourage to make way for a younger man. 24 hours later there's still shock in the vatican city. >> shocked. disappointed. sad. >> reporter: this morning roman catholics, tourists, even some church officials wondered if this can be a moment to revitalize the church after pope benedict xvi's unexpected decision to step down. >> personally i didn't agree with a lot of the things he believed and prepared. >> this will bring change for the church. >> reporter: in making his announcement the 85-year-old pontiff who has been looking frail asked for forgiveness. i have to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the min nus stri entrusted to me he told a gathering of cardinals in latin saying his advanced age forced the decision. just hours later these images circulated around the world. these are unusual times for the vatican. the last time a pope abdicated under similar circumstances
. pope benedict's successor, anne thompson is there with more. good morning, anne. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. the conclave to elect pope benedict's successor is scheduled to begin between march 15th and march 20g9, but there is talk it could be moved up because the karmds who will elect the new pope are coming here to rome to say good-bye to pope benedict february 28th. we should hear some word perhaps this week. asked who will succeed pope benedict the pope himself yesterday set off a flurry of speculation at his weekly blessing when he addressed the crowd in spanish, he asked them to pay praise for himself and the future pope. some wondered was he sending a secret signal that he would prefer to see a pope from latin america? i spoke to a vatican spokesman who said there was no secret signal, just the pope offering a prayer. >> anne thompson, thank you. >> nbc's white house correspondent kristen welker is in port st. lucie, traveling with the president. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. president obama heads home later today after a weekend of golf, includin
the issue on a future agenda. no decisions were made last night. >> the resignation of pope benedict the 16th has just started an agency to process to replace him. jim be itterman tel as out cardinals will choose their new leader. >> there are a few hints about what will happen next at the vatican. it was hinted there will be a new poll by easter. easter is the 31st of march. they wanted the 18 members of cardinal to gather in rome and elect a new pope. they also say the college of cardinals will not convene while the pope is still in office. the cardinals will not join the conclave before march 1st. the election process can be short. it no longer takes weeks for the college of congress to gather. they could arrive early in march. what is missing is the pope resignations. of morning. it is still an open question whether the cardinals will immediately gather and go into the conclave or take a few days to get in the mood for collecting a pope. >> also on cleared without a morning. would there be time for the quiet gathering of cardinals which happened in the past to allow them to size up the
week we'll be live at the vatican as we have the final days of pope benedict, and we'll be there at the final public outing and take a look at what is next for the world's more than 1 billion catholics and who may be his successor. that's all next week on today. >> a lot of interesting stories there. we'll go back inside to natalie morales with a check of headlines. >> good morning, everyone. as many as 30 million americans are in the path of a major winter storm that brought snow and high winds to southern arizona on wednesday and forced the first ever suspension of mass play at the world golf championship. heavy snow is causing dangerous white out conditions in kansas and nebraska and hundreds of flights have been canceled. a stunning development today at the bail hearing for south after an olympic star oscar pistorius. prosecutors reveal the lead investigator in the murder case against pistorius is himself facing seven attempted murder charges over a police shooting in 2011. meantime nike said today it has suspended its contract with pistorius accused of gunning do
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